Derry punters will be dreaming of a White Christmas as bookies last night lengthened their odds on snow in the city on Christmas Day.
Weather experts say it’s still too early to predict but as Christmas edges ever closer, and temperatures begin to drop, the bookies say they expect an influx of white Christmas bets.
Alex Donohue of Ladbrokes, who are offering odds of 11/4 for a white Christmas in Derry, says they expect many more bets to be placed in Derry over the coming weeks.
“By the time betting is suspended we expect to take a few thousand pounds worth of bets on this particular market,” he says.
With just over a week to go until the big day, seasonal punters - and more than one million white Christmas bets are placed in Ireland and the UK - will be looking for the best odds for snowfall on December 25.
The bookies say they will pay out if snow falls at City of Derry airport at any time on Christmas Day.
Earlier this week leading Irish Paddy Power were offering odds of 5/2 on a Derry White Christmas - since lengthened to 3/1.
“White Christmas Betting has been quite popular lately particularly since temperatures plummeted in the last few days,” Féilim Mac An Iomaire of Paddy Power told the ‘Journal’.
“So far most of the punters have been backing a White Christmas in London and Dublin with not much money so far for Derry. However with two weeks to go we anticipate plenty of bets from the North West.
He says festive novelty bets have grown in popularity over recent years and Paddy Power now offers odds on the top selling toy, which TV ‘soap’ will have most viewers, the first cliché in the Queen’s speech and the number one selling computer game.
The Met Office are keeping their White Christmas cards close to their chest, saying it is too early to give an accurate forecast.
But online weather service netweather yesterday said there was a 30% chance of snow on Christmas day in the north.